If there’s one constant about Dutch firm MVRDV’s work, it’s that there’s always an unexpected element involved. The architecture firm just topped out the Tianjin Binhai Library, which features a gigantic eye-like space at its heart. The Eye, which comprises an oval opening and a mirrored sphere with an auditorium, gives the boxy building a dramatic appearance and blurs the lines between the indoors and outdoors.
Created as part of the new Binhai Cultural Center, the 34,200-square-meter Tianjin Library was created in collaboration with Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI) to serve as an education center and connector from the park to the burgeoning cultural district. The building is glazed to promote transparency and is punctured by an oval opening that provides clear views both into the library atrium and of the surrounding park landscape. The mirrored and spherical auditorium set at the center of the oval gives the space an eye-like and surreal effect.
“The Eye is the centre of the library. It ‘hollows out’ the building and creates, out of bookshelves, an environment to sit, to read, to hang out, to climb and to access, to create an organic social space,” said MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. “In its heart is the auditorium which mirrors the environment, giving a 360 degree panorama of the space inside; a truly reflective and pensive environment.” Curvaceous and terraced bookshelves located around the auditorium echo the spherical shape and lead up into an organic ceiling pattern. The contour-like lines are extended to the facade, where they’re used as sun-shading louvres. The Tianjin Binhai library is estimated to open to the public by mid 2017.
Images via MVRDV